Working mom actress who broke through 1,600-to-1 to star in 43 billion won Korean musical ‘Genealogy’

The musical market is growing rapidly.

According to the Arts Management Support Center’s ‘2022 Performance Ticket Sales Trend Summary’ report on the 6th, domestic musical ticket sales reached 425.3 billion won last year. It has nearly doubled in one year from 234.3 billion won in 2021.

The key to market growth is ticket power. Top male actors such as Cho Seung-woo, Kim Joon-soo, and Park Hyo-shin command between 50 million won and 100 million won per performance. This is why people with star power like male singers are being transfused into the musical stage one after another.

‘The Youngest Empress of Fame’ Publishes Musical Primer

Actress Choi Ji-yi, who plays Baroness Waldstetten in “Mozart!” which is scheduled to open in the middle of this month, is practicing for her performance. [Photo by actor Choi Ji-yi].
A musical theater primer has been published that puts the spotlight on the work itself, rather than the actor-centered casting. The author is Choi Ji-yi, 38, a musical theater actress with 17 years of experience. The JoongAng Ilbo met Choi on March 26, when she was in the midst of rehearsing for a performance of Mozart!

Ms. Choi plays the role of Baroness Waldstetten in the show. She is the woman who opened the door to success and freedom for the young Mozart. Choi made her debut in 2007 as Christine Daé in The Phantom of the Opera with Japan’s Shiki, Asia’s largest musical theater company. In 2015, at the age of 30, she became the youngest person to play the role of Empress Ming. “I was lucky,” he said on the day.

His book, “This Is a Musical,” is a kind of primer to help people understand musicals in Korea and abroad. “It’s common for actors to write essays about their thoughts, and until now, musical critics or production directors have written introductions to musicals,” Choi said, “but this is probably the first time an active actor has written an introductory book.”

Choi Ji-yi, a 17-year musical theater actor. She plays Baroness Waldstetten in “Mozart!” which is scheduled to open in the middle of this month. She plays the role of inspiring dreams and hope in the young Mozart. [Photo courtesy of actor Choi Ji-yi].

The basic framework of the book is an introduction to 99 musicals that have been performed in Korea and abroad for the purpose of understanding and enjoying musicals. It contains 350 songs (numbers), basic knowledge about musicals, and an understanding of the market. Each musical’s story and message are explained in an easy-to-understand manner. The publisher explains, “This is possible not only because of her skills as an active musical actress, but also because of her theoretical background, which she developed while lecturing at various universities먹튀검증.”

Musical actors have the same problems as working moms
Despite being a successful musical actress, she hasn’t always had an easy life. Despite being a talented actor, he was unable to avoid career interruptions due to marriage and childbirth, which is why his filmography was interrupted for a while after ‘Mariante Annette’ in 2019.

He also shared his struggles as a working mom. His biggest concern these days is protecting his neck. “I’m always cautious about catching a cold from my four-year-old son, who attends a daycare center before a performance,” Choi laughed.

A poster of actress Jiyi Choi’s performance as Baroness Waldstetten in the musical Mozart! [Photo EMK Musical Company].

Getting back on stage wasn’t easy. Before giving birth, Choi landed a number of big starring roles. In 2018, she won the top spot in a musical audition program for a terrestrial broadcaster, beating out competition of 1,600 to 1. But when Choi returns to the stage after becoming a mom, she’s not afraid to play small roles (ensemble). “Being a musical theater actor is an extreme job where you have to survive fierce auditions by switching between leading and supporting roles,” Choi said, “because being chosen by someone over and over again is the destiny of a musical theater actor.”

When he’s not performing, Choi earns a living by giving lectures on YouTube. Choi’s YouTube account has accumulated more than 3.1 million views. “It’s probably the largest number of vocalization-related YouTubers,” he says. He has taught not only aspiring actors, but also regular adults, which is why his books are so accessible to the general public. At the end of the interview, he shared his hopes for the future.

“First of all, I’m going to do my best to play the Baroness well in this show, and I want to be a working actor for a long time. They say that musical theater actors, like office workers, reach their prime in their 40s, and I’m just getting started.”

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